While overcoming the effects of years of war and proving to the international community that it is committed to developing a thriving, corruption free economy, the government of the Republic of Srpska is focusing on developing the republic’s infrastructure, which must be upgraded to support continued development. Such efforts are overseen by the Ministry of Telecommunications and Transport; the Republic Directorate for Civil Aviation and the Directorate for Building, Managing and Maintaining Motorways are under the ministry’s jurisdiction.
Nedeljko Cubrilovic, Minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Srpska, explains that one of the federation’s most important projects at present is the construction of a new 400 km highway budgeted at around €300 million. Existing roads are also being upgraded and the government is seeking EU support for the modernisation of the rail network, including its rolling stock.
“We will need to invest several hundreds of millions of euros, which we are obtaining through bank loans and from the support of certain governments,” Nedeljko Cubrilovic explains. Bosnia and Herzegovina has received support for its infrastructure projects from the EU, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and other international sources.
“The government is also upgrading the Republic of Srpska’s air transport system through expanding the existing airport at Banja Luka and making plans for a new airport in Trebinje,” the minister explains.
Fully liberalised telecommunications sector
“The sector overall is obtaining good results in both subscriber growth and revenues,” Nedeljko Cubrilovic points out. In a related effort, the government is working to upgrade the postal service and to make it a member of the international postal services network.
Nedeljko Cubrilovic urges the international community to take a more positive view of Bosnia and Herzegovina and to take into account the significant progress that has already been made in a difficult transition period. He says, “Other countries which have been in the EU for quite a lot longer are also having problems like the ones we are facing here. As for corruption, we did not have it in the past and are working to get rid of it. What is clear, however, is that our country’s infrastructure is poor, and that is what we need to work on.”